The alarm goes off. The same song that was playing on the radio yesterday is playing again. From the commute into work to the daily tasks, everything is eerily familiar. In fact, the whole day from start to finish is exactly the same.
This scenario is the starting point for the 1993 philosophical comedy Groundhog Day. In the film, wry weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) sense of being stuck in a never-ending rut becomes quite literal when, while covering the Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, he finds himself reliving the same day over and over without end. In real life, the description of the day above can sometimes strike close to home. Our daily routines can leave us feeling similarly stuck.
But your work day doesn’t need to feel like it’s playing on repeat. The following five tips will help you make each day as varied, engaging and fulfilling as it should be. Even daily small talk with that one coworker – (the equivalent of Ned … Ned Ryerson… Needlenose Ned… Ned the Head…) – will no longer seem quite so repetitive.
1. Get Social
It’s easy for the IT department to become socially siloed. The server room can be isolated, and getting someone back into their email for the umpteenth time isn’t always an occasion for schmoozing. But finding common interests with coworkers can make even a routine password reset pleasant. Bringing your tech-savvy perspective to events like an office book club can make things more interesting for everyone.
2. Work on Professional Development
The workday can be a slog if you’re spinning your wheels. So don’t delete HR’s emails about professional development opportunities. You may be surprised at how much your company is willing to help you learn.
3. Take on Projects that Make You Think
It’s easy to go on autopilot once you know the ropes at a job. But nothing beats a sense of workaday drudgery like having a eureka moment on a tough problem. Make yourself available for projects that will push your limits.
4. Don’t Fear the Workout Facilities
Physical activity is a great way to mix up the day. Your building may even have exercise facilities you can sign up to use. If you’re working remotely, find a few minutes to walk or even a do few pushups to keep the blood flowing to your brain.
5. Show Your Co-workers You Care
We often forget to be kind when things get stressful. But taking a few seconds to let a co-worker know they’ve done a good job can make anyone’s day. A culture of mutual appreciation can keep everyone from wanting to scramble when the clock strikes 5:00 p.m.
Certification Brings Variety to Days, Years and Careers
Just like an unvarying routine can make your days feel identical, sometimes an unfulfilling career can make you feel like you’re spending your life waiting for something to change. CompTIA certification can help you out of that rut. These real-life stories of IT pros prove it.
Robert Vance was pulling 70-hour weeks delivering food and working retail. The moment he got his CompTIA A+, things changed dramatically. He soon found himself working in an IT role in a building where he had once delivered off food.
“I worked on the 36th floor of the Capital One building in downtown New Orleans, overlooking the city!” Vance said. “I was like, ‘I finally made it!’ And it’s all because of that A+ exam!”
Now, as a device administrator at a prominent New Orleans hospital, he continues to move his career forward.
At the age of 19, Josh Wragg was getting by painting houses. It was back in the days of dial-up, and shortly after a move to California he stumbled into a tech support role. His skills, though, weren’t up to par to answer the calls. He got some important advice – get certified and you can hang on to your job. But that certification set him down a path to both technical expertise and small business ownership.
Decades later, Wragg owns and operates a small solution provider. He insists to this day that those working for him get certified.
“Certification refines your reasoning and your deductive ability when you’re troubleshooting, so you’re not just guessing,” Wragg said.
These are only two of the countless tales of people turning around their careers – and their lives – that started with CompTIA certification. Whether you’re looking for a foot in the door to an all-new career or a move into a higher IT job role, CompTIA can help take the next step.
Matthew Stern is a freelance writer based in Chicago who covers information technology, retail and various other topics and industries.